Sunday, April 15, 2007

Warszawa, Warszawa

regardless the gentle ties i am attached to Warsaw, i must say i like that town, even if many people don't see the charm of that city. i'm not talking about the massive socreal design of the bulk of buildings but the atmosphere. there's something that probably most Warsovians don't even know about. something i could best describe as an endless fight for turning the 'socialist achievements' into a cosy, more lively surrounding. there's this cafe for example. The groundfloor of a typical, ugly, block-building from the socialist era has been transformed into a cool, elegant and stylish cafe and whatsmore, the ladies behind the bar really strove to deliver excellent service. so that's what i call a qualitative change in attitude... (people from this region will certainly understand what i mean)

nevertheless, they are still learning how to live together with the legacy of the last era. best example is that many Warsovians hate the building of Palac Kultury i Nauki, just because it was a 'present' from the Soviet Union. well, i understand their feelings about soviets, but i still like that building. and as i noticed so does the new generation, for hosting temporary and permanent exhibitions, cultural programs, a cinema and last but not least providing great view on Warsaw.

however, in the same building (Palac Kultury) u can still meet the good old behaviour of what i wouldn't call the exclusive feature of the socialist systems, but certainly of those with suppression and the lack of liberty. so what am i talking about? we entered Palac Kultury, and the safety guard asked Gosia where we wanted to go. to the top floor - she said. well, it's normally 20 zlotych for entrance, 15 for students, but if u go downstairs, talk to XY, u can enter for 10 zlotych - sounded the answer.

just two comments on this:
1) 20 zlotych for this is a proper rip-off today in Warsaw, especially for Pols.
2) I hope Poland, Hungary and the other countries in the region will very soon escape from the trap of black-market and corruption - let me add that i don't think that those countries in the Western part of Europe would be much better in these matters, see the Siemens case for example...

so here's the building that i was saying all this rubbish about up here:
Palac Kultury i Nauki

one entrance of the Old Town. Barbakan (Barbican):The Old Town is very nice by the way. It's unbelievable that they rebuilt everything after the nazis had destroyed almost all buildings, and u wouldn't say that those buildings are not a hundred or two hundred years old.

don't ask me what ruins are these (i think those of a once palace) but it's very close to the monument of the Unknown Soldier, which i personally like or even more respect a lot.
yeah, Warsaw is all about remembering.
and when i said transforming the socialist legacy into something i also ment this: builing nice buildings, with concept. okay, we can make a discussion on whether this building actually fits into the surroundings, but at least it's something unique. and if nothing else, i appreciated this. but i actually think it does fit into.
Supreme Court of Poland

the best of Polska: KISPOLSKI!!! :)we call it Kis Polski, they call it Maluch - the same: small, lovely.


~Gosia~ said...

I respect your point of view on Warszawa.


caisersoze said...

Balint, what do you mean 'present' from the Soviets? Does the Palac Kultury symbolize something?

~Gosia~ said...

I'm not Balint, but :) yes, it symbolizes sth in a way. many Poles see it as a Soviet domination in Poland, as 'we' received the palace in 1955 - during high peak of Stalin's regim.

Balint said...

thank u for answering instead of me, u r more authentic in this matter

caisersoze said...

Thanks! I've read that it used to be called "Stalin's Palace..." but after the end of the Soviet domination Stalin's name was removed. I can see the discomfort of some locals over the buildings association with a darker period...